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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Boat Buyers & Sellers Forum
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  #1  
Old 02-24-2010
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How Old of a Survey?

For someone in the market for a used boat, how much faith should he place in an old survey/one provided by the seller? For instance, if the survey was 6 mos old, would anyone run with it and do the deal, assuming they were satisfied with the report? What about a survey one or two years old?

Or with any of the above cases, should they holdout for a new survey? What if the boat is say less than $15K (talking 25 yrs. plus in age, 27' and over). It would seem that if the thing sails and the motor/transmission work, then you could also be assured you're getting your money's worth. Any condition above and beyond that would be bonus.
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Old 02-24-2010
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A survey is a snapshot of the condition of a particular boat at a particular moment in time, performed by a particular individual. Unless it was done within the last hour, it may already be out of date.

If the S/V Concordia was surveyed a year ago, do you think that survey is still valid today?
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Old 02-24-2010
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You are correct in your statement, although I'm unfamiliar with the s/v Concordia. I would imagine it would apply to any vessel with a survey.
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Old 02-24-2010
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I am in a functional restore right now and as bad as i NEW the boat was i have had some items i have never seen broken before

At <15k and above >27' the boats gonna have issues

At that price the best i found had a A4 or saltwater cooled diesel on its last legs
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Old 02-24-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkscout View Post
You are correct in your statement, although I'm unfamiliar with the s/v Concordia. I would imagine it would apply to any vessel with a survey.
She sank a week ago.
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Old 02-24-2010
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I would think that a survey, by your own surveyor would certainly be worth it's price, especially on a $15K boat...

but only you can make that call.

I would put Zero faith in a 6 month old survey, even less in one that is older. The survey on hand could be helpful, but I would not "do the deal" based on it.
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Old 02-24-2010
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Don't place any faith in any survey you didn't commission yourself. First, the survey may not have been commissioned for the same reason you are wanting to. An insurance survey is going to be different from a boat buyer's pre-purchase survey. Also, you don't know who paid for it...and the person paying for the survey can have a fair bit of effect on what the survey says.

Any survey is a snapshot in time as pointed out previously. However, that snapshot can be very different from what the actual case is. For instance, a survey before a hard winter with really cold temperatures might indicate that the boat is in good shape—but what if the boat wasn't properly winterized for the really cold temperatures—many things could be damaged that are not reported as damaged in the survey. An engine block could crack in the cold weather if not properly winterized... but the pre-winter survey might say the engine was in fine shape. If the boat sat in a slip in an electrically hot marina for a month or two after the survey, the through-hulls could all be shot, as could the prop shaft and prop... but the survey wouldn't reflect that.
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Originally Posted by elkscout View Post
For someone in the market for a used boat, how much faith should he place in an old survey/one provided by the seller? For instance, if the survey was 6 mos old, would anyone run with it and do the deal, assuming they were satisfied with the report? What about a survey one or two years old?

Or with any of the above cases, should they holdout for a new survey? What if the boat is say less than $15K (talking 25 yrs. plus in age, 27' and over). It would seem that if the thing sails and the motor/transmission work, then you could also be assured you're getting your money's worth. Any condition above and beyond that would be bonus.
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Old 02-24-2010
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I agree with the other guys here that a previous survey can be very useful in deciding whether to move forward with looking at a boat (especially if you have to travel to see it) or making an offer, but you should always commission your own survey prior to closing. The previous survey can provide great detailed information about the boat, and it's better than having no survey at all, but you're still taking some risk.

For everybody there's some $$ threshold below which a survey just doesn't make sense in terms of cost/benefit, but I think you'd want to know for sure what you're getting into before dropping anything in the neighborhood of $15k.
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Old 02-24-2010
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I would think that one usefulness of a previous survey is to see if the PO addressed any items in the survey.

That would give you a clue on how well the boat has been maintained.
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Old 02-24-2010
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Attending a survey

Hello,

Having access to a prior survey can be very valuable. First off, the findings may be that the boat is a piece of junk, in which case you don't bother to continue. Assuming that is not the case, you could contact the surveyor and see if he remembers the boat. You may get a discount if you use him, because he is familiar with the boat.

My last point: to me, ATTENDING a survey is more valuable than the survey REPORT. I have had two boats surveyed and each time I followed the surveyor around like a lost puppy. They didn't seem to mind and were happy to tell me what they were doing, why they were doing it, and what they were looking for. If you are relatively new to this crazy sport, you can learn a real lot by attending the survey, way more than you can from reading an older report.

Good luck,
Barry
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